SBD/10/Facilities Venues

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              In Houston, Arena Operating Company, manager of The
         Summit, has reached an agreement with Houston-based Compaq
         Computer Corp. in which The Summit will be renamed Compaq
         Center.  Through the deal, Compaq will provide $5.4M over
         the next six years to upgrade the arena, including updating
         the telescreens, installing a new ice floor, replacing light
         fixtures, recovering the seats and upgrading the elevators
         and escalators.  The renaming of the arena is subject to
         approval from the Houston City Council (Compaq).
              COMPAQ COMPETING? In Houston, John Williams writes that
         one of the Rockets' corporate partners is Compaq "rival"
         Hewlett-Packard.  Hewlett-Packard holds advertising rights
         inside the arena during Rockets games.  Williams reports
         that Rockets officials "were unclear" about whether they
         would "try to prevent" Compaq from advertising inside the
         arena.  In other news, Compaq officials said that "they will
         explore putting computers at fans' seats so patrons can get
         statistical updates and, possibly, order food and drinks"
         (John Williams, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/10).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, hp, Houston Rockets

              Turner Sports & Entertainment unveiled design plans
         yesterday for its $213M development project in downtown
         Atlanta, which includes a new arena for the Hawks and
         Atlanta's new NHL expansion team.  The arena, and the
         surrounding 12-acre development, is scheduled to be
         completed in September of '99.  The arena will be built on
         the former site of the Omni Coliseum (TBS).  In Atlanta,
         Unger & Saporta wrote that the arena will have "steel
         trusses supporting three sweeping roofs that resemble cards
         being fanned."  The trusses will spell out "Atlanta" on one
         side and "CNN" on the other.  Braves & Hawks President Stan
         Kasten: "We wanted it to be instantly recognizable and to
         make a statement -- at least as recognizable as the Sydney
         Opera House."  The new arena's luxury suites will be "open"
         with no glass and will also be "stacked vertically," instead
         of horizontally around the arena, so fans will be "closer to
         the action."  Also, 60% of the seats are either in the lower
         level or premium area (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/9).  The
         Hawks will play their home games at both the Georgia Dome
         and on the campus of Georgia Tech  ("Fox Sports News,"
         10/9).  For a visual of the plan, see

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks, Facilities, NHL, Turner Sports

              In today's WALL STREET JOURNAL, John Helyar writes on
         the "new wave of arenas ... aiming to restore a sense of
         intimacy and to get rank-and-file fans back in the game by
         giving them a better view."  Helyar: "The Pacers may be the
         boldest players in this movement, having broken ground on a
         throwback arena designed to look like a high-school field
         house."  Yesterday in Atlanta, TBS announced plans for a new
         arena "that will confine all suites to one side of the bowl
         and thereby offer much better seats to the suiteless on the
         other." In Toronto, the Maple Leafs "have ordered their
         architect to create 'the Camden Yards of hockey.'"  Janet
         Marie Smith, the design chief behind Camden Yards, "has now
         turned her attention to arenas, heading up the planning for
         Atlanta's and consulting on Indiana's."  Helyar writes that
         the Indiana Fieldhouse "will ooze nostalgia" from the '20s,
         with "metal seat-section signs printed with an old-style
         font; vintage-looking advertising signs; a scoreboard with
         an old-fashioned nondigital clock; even a section with
         pullout bleachers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/10).

    Print | Tags: Facilities, Indiana Pacers, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Turner Sports, Toronto Maple Leafs
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